Month: June 2012

Indianapolis Collected: Everyone Loves a Parade!

Except for a brief 30-year window when religion and rectitude ruled the day, the traditional 4th of July celebration in Indianapolis has remained largely unchanged since 1822. Meat is barbecued, fireworks are exploded and alcoholic beverages are consumed. It’s a simple formula for celebrating our nation’s independence that has kept Indianapolis residents entertained for the past 190 years. Because most of the settlers were stricken with ague (a malaria-like illness) during the summer of 1821, the city’s first real 4th of July celebration was held in 1822. All of the townspeople were invited. A freshly killed buck was barbecued...

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Heritage Steward: Susan Sutton

NAME:  Susan Sutton TITLE:  Coordinator, Visual Reference Services  FOR:  Indiana Historical Society SINCE?  1986 ORIGINALLY FROM? Indiana YOUR JOB DUTIES INCLUDE? I help people find images of Indiana for a wide variety of projects. I work with people who simply want to have a photograph for their home or business as well as working with authors and documentary producers. Once the images have been identified, I get reproductions made. YOU WORK HOW MANY HOURS WEEKLY? 40 PROJECT/S YOU ARE MOST PROUD TO HAVE BEEN PART OF? It would be difficult to choose some in particular. I think contributing to...

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Friday Favorite: Lions at American Legion Headquarters

Ever heard that Alice in Wonderland:  “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Here in Indianapolis, it’d be more like “seen as many as six amazing things before breakfast.” Taking the time to notice details will pay immediate dividends to your peepers.  There are thousands of arresting details to be discovered in this metropolis–especially within the historic parts of the city of Indianapolis. On a recent walk, I discovered some door knockers straight out of something like The Lion King. Next time you find  yourself near the American Legion headquarters, look for these lion door...

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Indianapolis Then & Now: 1424 Delaware, Old Northside

If you’ve ever been on North Delaware Street, across the street from the Harrison Center for the Arts, you might notice the B&B that looks like an old-fashioned fortress. Immediately south of that imposing brick building is a parking lot for one of the tall vintage apartment buildings farther south, but what was there before, was an impressive three-story Queen Anne! Thank goodness there are a lot of trees to slightly obscure the asphalt now taking up the space of a gorgeous home… and Now: The home that formerly stood here had belonged to the William M. Jillson Family...

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WTH Weds: The Odd Couple

There is a cabin on the banks of a cool, clear, mountain stream fed by glacier melt, nestled among the firs. Deer frolic in the meadows.  All is well is here. Almost… except for that Italianate eyesore next door! Pertinent Address: Marlowe Ave, Holy Cross...

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Room With a View: Downtown Marsh to Mass Ave

What fun, to head over to O’Malia’s (that’s what I still call it, but ok, it’s actually a Marsh now) in search of some Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix and find a horse and carriage clop into view. We’re all used to seeing the horse and carriage scene on the circle, but it was the first time I’d seen a horse come into view along Mass Ave. Wonder what the city looked like with nothing but horses and carriages all over the streets of the city…...

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Building Language: Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts. Several notable Indianapolis structures feature the architectural style of the Beaux Arts. Beaux Arts (French for “Fine Arts”) traces its roots from the École des Beaux-Arts, a school of architecture in France. Several notable American architects of the last decades of the nineteenth century studied at the École, introducing the classical architectural ideas of the École to high style architecture in the United States from approximately 1885-1920. The 1893 Columbian Exposition (in Chicago) prominently featured the Beaux Arts, creating a buzz for the style throughout the United States. Beaux Arts features extensive classical architectural features, with a...

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Ladies Lounge: Up-Do’s For You

For some of us, the summer inspires contemplation of murder…of our lengthy locks. I love having a head full of thick, long, auburn hair…until the mercury creeps into the upper 80’s plus. That’s about the time I momentarily revisit the merits of  Sinead O’Connor’s look a couple decades back. But you have to have a stunningly beautiful face to get away with that look. And be a singer. Not being able to claim either of those, I opt for ponytails and other quick up-dos. These first 5 vintage looks (including the picture above) could be done with longer than...

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Sunday Prayers: Headstones

I don’t know that I’ve ever visited a cemetery that doesn’t have some faded out, fallen over or otherwise challenged headstones. It’s always a little heart-breaking when  you see someone’s final resting place standing less than tall… does anyone have a thought on what can be done to protect these stones long-term? So sad when you can barely recognize a name or see an overturned stone. Always pains me when I hear of some jackhole vandalizing a cemetery. Or memorial. Or pretty much anything else… I know the DNR offers workshops–this week’s Heritage Steward, Jeannie Regan-Dinius leads them. More...

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Sunday Adverts: School 23rd & Alabama

The year was 1924 and there was a college at 23rd  & Alabama Streets? How fascinating that this was what qualified a person to become a teacher and look at these disciplines.  My how times have changed. As reader & researcher Sharon went to the trouble of finding out, this was evidently on the northeast corner at 23rd & Alabama. Interesting comments by both Sharon and Tom....

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Photos, Fun, Flustercluck: PJ Game Wrap-up

Let’s start with how I really feel about last weekend: HOLY **** –take your pick on the 2nd word, because I’ve undoubtedly used whichever one you come up with. Who would have ever imagined that 100+ more people than I’d estimated as a best case scenario would have turned up for The Pajama Game…and all at once? The beginning was overwhelming, to say the least. But wow, what an amazing gift and learning experience. For those attendees who had patience and compassion (and allow for the fact that “The Pajama Game” was H.I.’s first big public event): I offer...

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Heritage Steward: Jeannie Regan-Dinius

NAME: Jeannie Regan-Dinius TITLE: Director of Special Initiatives FOR: Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology SINCE? 2001 ORIGINALLY FROM? Born in Michigan, but grew up in Indianapolis YOUR JOB DUTIES INCLUDE? Researching the location o fall cemeteries in the state and surveying them, researching the history of the Underground Railroad in the state and working with others to get that research done, researching theaters and working with theater owners, researching the impact of the Jewish community on the built environment in Indiana, maintaining our website, organizing the statewide preservation conference, and maintaining our online database...

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Indianapolis Then and Now: West Market Street

Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company, ca. 1907 This clear view of Indianapolis, taken circa 1907 according to the the Library of Congress, shows West Market Street looking east toward the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Many modes of transportation were available in the early decades of the 20th century and several are seen here, including horse-drawn wagons, early automobiles, and trolleys. In the foreground, multiple trolley and interurban tracks are embedded in the brick street, with many lines leading into the Traction Terminal train shed on the left. The shed, along with the adjacent nine-story Traction Terminal Building designed by...

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WTH Weds: Rhapsody in a Kind of Blue

Franco-Spanish Colonial Revival-Moderne anyone? We are stumped as to what is actually happening with this house, what is original, and the design intent. We can however, point out  key architectural characteristics evidencing some sort of conflict in the architect’s office, fortunately for all involved no Germans came. -Franco: Hipped roof typical of French Colonial houses. The wrought iron porch and chimney details seem to be straight out of the French Quarter. -Spanish: If painted white, it could be perceived as a Spanish Revival/pueblo style. -Moderne: Could be a Moderne building style because of its massing and window arrangement, but...

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Building Language: Shingles

Shingles. Although this architectural term should be well-known to most, I thought I’d explore some of the quirks and attributes of shingles you may not be as familiar with. As a reminder, shingles are standard cut wood pieces, typically with one end thicker than the other, used to cover the roof or exterior walls of a building. On historic houses, you might find a wood clapboard house with a small gabled end featuring scalloped shingles. Shingles can be cut to a variety of shapes and sizes and I’ve created an illustration to highlight the different shingle styles you might encounter....

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Ladies Lounge: That Ayres Look 1961

This one’s for sale on ebay right now–if only the dress were. Seems in the early 60s, the “That Ayres Look” ad series morphed from the cosmopolitan, worldly woman photos to artist renderings of the fine clothing on offer at Ayres. We’ll plan to share more of the illustrated adverts in the future. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a cool summer frock like this...

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The Key to City Market Pajama Game

Yes, the answers for the Pajama Game follow here, but for those of you who attended, will you please take 2 minutes to give us your feedback? We know there were some hiccups and want to make sure to improve next time we have an event. No need to focus comments on the check-in portion, we are well aware of the opportunities for improvement in that department. The response and attendance level was unexpectedly large and overwhelming, but in the end, it looked like most everyone had a pretty good time, and it’s thrilling that so many people came...

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How To Make History…Fun

With apologies to those who prefer our usual smorgasbord of variety, I hope everyone has learned something about the Indianapolis City Market this week. Our facebook page will also return to our regularly scheduled programming. It must be said, however, that tonight’s “Pajama Game” came about, in part, because of a survey we conducted a few months ago. The respondents said they wanted to get IN to some of the places we featured. Tonight, we start a new phase of H.I. by bringing the audience into the historic city market and ask them to observe it like an explorer...

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